Travers Chandler and Avery County
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Travers Chandler and Avery County

Roxboro, North Carolina, United States | MAJOR

Roxboro, North Carolina, United States | MAJOR
Band Country Bluegrass


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Sara Needham"

Patuxent Records, 2010

by Sara Needham

Avery County’s State of Depression does right by an often-ignored niche in the genre, “Baltimore Barroom Bluegrass.” Telling the stories of Appalachian workers lured to the city by opportunity in the 1950’s and 60’s, the project is covered in coal dust and delightfully lonesome, echoing themes of barroom temptation, big-city loneliness and unmet expectations.
Having put in time as sidemen with The James King Band, Danny Paisley and The Southern Grass and The Country Gentlemen, these boys learned their chops from the roots up, and it shows. The instrumental interplay is somewhat reminiscent of the Johnson Mountain Boys, each member lending tasteful support to the overall sound.
As David Smith, of Durango’s KDUR said on his first listen to the new disc, “When an album starts out with a song about a miner dying of black lung disease, then one where your sister shames the family by being a whore you know it’s going to be a great album.” The group has a knack for song selection, unearthing a number of gems on the release. “Too Deep in Heartaches,” a song plucked from the repertoire of the Bowes Brothers, (a little-known 1950’s and 60’s North Carolina bluegrass band) is a perfect example.
The title track, Vernon Oxford’s “State of Depression”, and Hank Williams, Jr’s “Stoned at the Jukebox” boast the heartfelt vocals of Travers Chandler, a seasoned mandolinist with work for Karl Shifflett and Danny Paisley on his bluegrass resume. Chandler’s playing leans heavily toward old-school sound and is featured in Dewey Farmer’s cross-tuned mandolin instrumental, “Lonesome Smokey.” The five-string breaks and back-up work of Adam Poindexter (long-time James King sideman) offer wonderful texture and drive throughout the album. Poindexter also teams Blake Johnson (bassist, now of the Hagar’s Mountain Boys) to contribute the sort of strong harmony vocals the genre is known for. The classic “Have You Come to Say Goodbye My Darlin’?” and an old-time standard in overdrive, “Let Me Fall” (which the band was quick to tell me was recorded before Adam Steffey’s version) round out the album with tasty Jimmy Martin style guitar runs to boot.
Avery County’s hard-edged, mid-century sound sets them apart from their slicker contemporaries and is likely to garner well-deserved attention in the bluegrass world. Whether you’re the type pull up a barstool or a rocking chair, State of Depression is worthy of a serious listen. Patuxent has yet to set a release date, but be on the lookout for the disc in the next few months at

- Colorado Bluegrass Society

"Brian McNeal"

Just got the CD out of the tray and it was smokin' This is pickin'. This is bluegrass. This is going on the air! Congratulations on a fine CD. We'll be glad to put you on the air as often as we can. -

- Prescription Bluegrass

"Andy Alexander"

We get a lot of albums sent to us by artisits and we listen to every one of them, but Avery County's "State Of Depression" has stayed in the CD player for the last month. Travers Chandler has focused on the style of bluegrass music that developed in citys like Baltimore, Dayton, and Detroit when rural people were forced to the city to find employment. The project was influenced by people like Charlie Moore, Buzz Busby, Red Allen, Frank Wakefield, Bill Napier, and others whose music came from the darker side of life. It's about feeling good about feeling bad. This album would make a great stocking stuffer for any moldy fig that can handle a little more depression during the holidays. They can be had by visiting . The liner notes alone are worth the price of the CD! The Miller High Life, Jameson Irish Whiskey, and Camel non filter cigarettes need to be purchased seperately.

PS- I liked the album so well that I booked the band for Pickin' In The Pasture next August!

- Promoter Pickin in the Pasture Lodi New York

"David Smith"

In bluegrass today words like progressive, jam, traditional and old time get tossed about like losing tickets at Pimlico. My favorite phrase in bluegrass is, “Real deal.” In my book these are bands that are playing hard hitting and high lonesome bluegrass with heart and truth pouring from each and every note. There are very few real deal bluegrass bands out there today and one of the best is Travers Chandler and Avery County out of Western North Carolina.

- Durango Bluegrass Meltdown Durango CO

"Dave Higgs"

"Many thanks for sending us a copy of your debut "Me & the Jukebox" -- and what a sparkling debut it is! This is the real deal--tough, gritty, edgy grass that really does bring back memories of days gone by when bluegrass had more testosterone and power. You all have not only perfected that classic sound Red, Buzz and Charlie, but have taken it one step further with your many originals and inspired covers. I especially enjoyed "Smoke Filled Honky Tonk," "Wolf is at the Door," "Jukejoint Boogie" and "Upstairs in the Bedroom." I think you all have definitely carved out a much needed niche for yourselves and that you have a promising future in front of you. I know I'll be doing my best to spread the word." -Dave Higgs Nashville Public Radio...Host of "Bluegrass Breakdown"
- Nashville Public Radio

"Andy Alexander"

"We receive promo pacs with demos to listen to all the time. We listen to them all (at least the first cut) but most just get filed away to never be heard again. However, every now and then we get a real gem that goes into constant rotation on our player. This is the case with Avery County's new project, "Me And The Jukebox". The CD is a "concept album" focusing on the darker side of the Baltimore barroom scene of the 1960's. The material maintains continuity and is mostly original or great obscure "deep catalog" songs that I don't recall hearing before. The 4 piece band has developed their own consistent style which seems to be a rare thing these days. Both the banjo and mandolin are played with a unique bluesy style throughout the recording. Robert Overstreet uses a lot of very tasteful Reno type licks on the banjo and Travers Chandler takes Monroe to another level with his syncopated percussive blues style mandolin playing. There is an abundance of really cool fill licks that aspiring pickers should check out. Hank Bowman on the guitar and Adam Poindexter on the bass do an outstanding job of supporting the vocals and lead instruments. The project has a clean and uncluttered sound and is not overproduced like so many are. I highly recommend this album to any moldy figs who are looking for the real deal." - Pickin in The Pasture


2005: "Me and the Jukebox"

2010: "State of Depression"
Patuxent Records



Avery County came together after two long time bluegrass sidemen decided that after many years it was time to play the music they wanted. With numerous IBMA awards on their mantles after stints with The James King Band, Danny Paisley and The Southern Grass, The Country Gentlemen Karl Shiflett and the Big Country Show and others, Adam Poindexter and Travers Chandler have come full circle.
Forget the cliches... this is the music that moved with hard-luck Southerners from the hills and hollers of the South to the dirty cities of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast in the middle of the last century. This is when work in the fields and mines was harder to come by than the factories of the city. Once rural Southern folk found themselves crowded around a smokey bar to hear the familiar sounds they once heard on their families' Carolina porches. This is the music of Travers Chandler and Avery County.
With a new album set for release in November on Patuxent Records titles "State of Depression", the band is ready to bring the classic sounds of hard edged bluegrass to new audience.With a show that is as entertaining as it is authentic, the band can go from family bluegrass festival to the college night club circuit with an ease that only seasoned professionals can master.
The soon to be released record titled "State of Depression" features hard-core,obscure material from the likes of Charlie Moore, the Easter Brothers, Charlie Monroe, Ted Lundy and Bob Paisley as well as a pair of tunes from the deep catalogue of hardcore country Honky tonkers Vernon Oxford and Hank Williams Jr. This band is proud to say that this IS your grandfather's bluegrass- hard edged, soulful and lonesome... somewhere between honky tonk heaven and cries from the depth of despair.

Travers Chandler- was born in Richmond VA and grew up in a trailer park, which obviously affected his musical outlook. He started his musical journey as a child, becoming a student of traditional music. His influences were men of little fortune but much musical soul: Charlie Moore, Red Allen, Buzz Busby, Frank Wakefield, Jimmy Martin, Carter Stanley, The Bowes Brothers and Walter Hensley and Dee Gunter. He has become a respected touring sideman ,working for such bands as Karl Shiflett and The Big Country Show, The James King Band, The Bluegrass Brothers, Gary Brewer and The Kentucky Ramblers, The Gillis Brothers and the last year with Rounder Recording Artists Dan Paisley and The Southern Grass, culminating in a 2009 IBMA award for Song of The Year. Travers sings all parts with the band and is best known for being one of the few young mandolinists in bluegrass who plays in the traditional style. Danny Paisley has deemed him the "king of tremolo" while James King called him "one of the best traditional musicians in bluegrass." Travers currently resides in Roxboro NC

Adam Poindexter - was raised in the tobacco fields and musical heritage of the piedmont in Roxboro North Carolina. As a child he would listen endlessly to the recordings of Jimmy Martin, The Country Gentlemen and The Bowes Brothers, a popular regional act of the 1950's. Eventually epanding his horizons musically, he soon became influenced heavily by other musicians such as Ray Charles. As a teenager he became an accomplished guitar and bass player and eventually picked up the banjo. He helped found regional groups Big Sandy and New Classic Grass before moving into what would become the pivotal role in his career; banjo player and vocalist in the up and coming James King Band. There he would spend over 10 years winning much acclaim as a harmony singer and banjoist winning an IBMA award in the process. He recorded several albums with King including "Thirty Years of Farming" and "Bed by the Window". After over a decade with King, Adam moved onto a partnership with Lynwood Lunsford in The Misty Valley Boys, then onto Randy Waller and The Country Gentlemen before forming Avery County with Travers Chandler in 2009. "Poindexter", as he is known by friends continues to reside in Roxboro NC.

Eddie Gill- Began playing music seriously in the shadow of his father Hermon Gill who was a legendary Reno style banjo player. When he was twenty years old Eddie began to find his voice, winning trophy after trophy on the contest circuit with his amazing singing. He played for many years in his band the Grassmasters before moving on to The Misty Valley Boys, and now Avery County, where he is a founding member. Eddie was born with a voice that can shatter glass at one moment and relay tragedy in soft whispers, often drawing comparisons to Bobby Osborne. His rhythm guitar is strong in the old school style of players like Red Allen, and he counts Red Smiley as the major infulence on his guitar playing. Eddie was raised in Chase City VA and now makes his home in Roxboro NC.

Jessica Smith- was raised in the small West Texas farming community of Shallowater. Growing up in a family of traditional Christian Harmony